Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

Unveiling the Dark Days

“Unveiling the Dark Days” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Aditi Vishwanath, India.

Unveiling the Dark Days

Flying into a rage was foreign to that cool hand, but that day Joe was fuming. He had clenched his fist to overcome his anger, but he couldn’t. Danny caught the sight of her enraged grandson. She went towards Joe to enquire andiron out his problem. When she asked the reason why he was furious, Joe answered, “I was chastised in front of the whole class for a mistake which I had never committed. My rivals always take full advantage of my kindness and they end up making me the cause of all the conflicts. I always condone their mischiefs, but I’m now fed up of it.”

Now, Danny understood the problem. To calm Joe down and divert the subject, she said, “Keep your hair down Joe, the weather is so pleasant today and it has been weeks since you haven’t heard any new story. So, shall I start narrating a new story?” Joe, who had been angry till then, forgot everything and sat eagerly to hear a new story from his grandma. Danny’s stories were always fascinating for Joe and he always heard his grandma’s stories attentively. Danny began, “He was an enthusiastic, intellectual, yet a poor boy. He was a right hand of his parents, helping them in all the darkest of situations. But, the only dissatisfaction of his parents was that boy’s education. They were sad that they weren’t able to afford him a good education since they earned meagre only enough to feed themselves. But, the boy was committed towards his aim. Well, his aim was to make his parents feel proud of him through his dedication towards his dream, that was to start a business of garments.

From his childhood, he had seen his parents stitching clothes in cloth mills. By seeing from years, he had acquired an extraordinary skill of stitching and manufacturing garments. Daily, secretly, he went to the fields to work in the day when his parents went to cloth mills to stitch clothes and collected his wages that would help his business flourish in future. The wage he earned by working daily was secretly stored in a tin can that was kept inside his unchecked pile of clothes by him. He took out some money from it when an emergency situation used to occur. When asked, he would tell that he had borrowed it from a sympathetic person and the matter never extended further.” By then, Joe interrupted Danny. He asked, “Why did he do that secretly? Couldn’t he tell everything to his parents?”

Danny smiled and answered, “Well, he thought that if he would reveal everything to his parents, then his parents would take pity on him and would have restricted him to work. Then, his dreams would be shattered and he would have to starve the rest of his life. So, daily he used to do his work secretly. When he was of 17, he wanted to start putting his plan into execution. So, he left his home and migrated to the city informing his parents that he would be finding a good job by the next two years. Along with his pile of clothes, he also carried that tin can in which a huge amount of money enough to start his garment business was there and he left his home. It was a hard toil for him to reach the city. Finally, after reaching the city, he found good shelter, a small terrace and a sewing machine, cloth materials and few labourers after which he started his business with the only money he had. For the first three months, he suffered from utter loss. But the boy didn’t lose his hopes. He went through fire and water and after one year, he started getting a good income. By the next year, he had a good house and enough money. He went back to his village and told his parents to migrate to the city. He had disclosed everything to his parents and his parents, who were extremely proud to give birth to such a devoted son, packed their belongings and migrated to the city. Through his income, he educated himself. With his skills and talent, he created new incredible designs which attracted more customers. He also helped the people suffering from hardships by supporting them financially. After that, he didn’t look back, he and his family lived a lavish and satisfied life”.

“Oh! That was a very nice story, Grandma. But, what was the name of that boy?”, asked Joe. Finally, Danny let the cat out of the bag, “He is none other than your father”. Joe stood with his mouth wide open. It was very hard for him to digest the fact that his father and his grandparents had struggled a lot to stand up in life. Danny’s story had a great impact on Joe. Joe asked, “Is it a real story, Grandma? Did these situations really occur?”. Danny answered, “Yes, my dear. Behind every success, there is grief, dedication and hard work. The same was with your father. He has struggled immensely to make a good living. Because of him, today, you are living a comfortable life. You must be grateful of your father”.

Joe now said, “Grandma, from now I will have a single goal, that is, to achieve. I will achieve something in my life to make my parents feel proud of me. Many may mock me, many may turn up their nose to push me down, but I will not worry. I will work with a single motive in my life. From today, I will turn over a new leaf in my life”. Danny beamed as Joe’s problem was finally resolved.

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